Jan. 11 (UPI) -- Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro's government on Friday criticized a resolution from the Organization of American States calling for new elections in the country and rejecting the legitimacy of Maduro's administration.
Venezuela "condemns the practices of coercion used in our region by the United States to promote a criminal campaign of aggression against Venezuelan people," the country's Foreign Affairs ministry said.
The Organization of American States, or OAS, a Washington, D.C.-based organization made up of 35 countries in the Western Hemisphere, voted Thursday in an extraordinary session "to not recognize the legitimacy of Nicolas Maduro's new term as of the 10th of January of 2019."
Maduro was sworn in earlier this week for a new term in office. He had won an election that saw historically low voter turnout in the reeling nation. Voting dates were moved twice and the United States and European Union both do not recognize Maduro's re-election.
The Venezuelan Foreign Affairs ministry thanked countries that voted against the resolution, approved with 19 votes in favor, 6 against, 8 abstentions and one absent.
The OAS issued the resolution just after Maduro officially started his second term Thursday.
During his inauguration speech, Maduro rejected an agreement by so-called Group of Lima, made up of thirteen nations including Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Chile, and Peru.
The nations recently announced they would not allow the entry of high-ranking Venezuelan government officials into their territory and called for new Venezuelan elections. Maduro gave those nations time until Friday to back down. He has in the past also blamed the United States for the group's actions.
Separately, Venezuelan Foreign Affairs Minister Jorge Arreaza on Thursday evening asked Peru to better protect its embassy there, which was earlier that day the "target of several attacks, including a group of criminals that entered our mission."
Latin American countries, led by Colombia and Peru, have received most of the exodus of an estimated 3 million Venezuelans who have left the country in recent years, according to United Nations refugee agency data.
Peru's El Comercio newspaper reported Thursday the local Canal N television network showed a small group of people breaking into the embassy. This was only one of several incidents, which included fighting and the use of tear gas by police to disperse protesters.
Venezuelans in Colombia, Chile and in other nations, as well as within Venezuela, also held protests, l Nacional newspaper reported.
Last year, Venezuela became Latin America's most violent country, with more than 23,000 violent deaths -- of which 7,523 occurred as citizens resisted authority, according to a tally of a non-government organization.
Venezuela's opposition has held multiple protests in recent years. Human rights groups have accused Maduro's government of torturing political prisoners and using other repression methods.